#DigiWriMo Interactive Fiction 1: Making a Playable Story

Story Map The Bike

I’ve been doing my best to bring elements of Digital Writing Month into my sixth grade classroom. We worked on Sound Stories and with images earlier in the month, and now, during this theme of “transmedia,” I have my students working on Interactive Fiction pieces. Interactive fiction is a designed story/game in which the reader is given choices to follow, and every choice branches off into another aspect of the story.

I’ve done these before with Twine, but the freeware didn’t always play nicely with our computers, although the new beta Twine 2.0 as online experience might be worth another look, and hosting the final products has become problematic now that Google Drive has changed the way public folders are set up. Here is a map for a Twine 2 story I did the other day for Digiwrimo:

Twine map

So, with my push this year around digital portfolios within Google Apps for Education, I am teaching my students how to use hyperlinks within a Google Slides project to create Interactive Fiction.

Using Google Slides for this style of writing is not perfect, but it works, and along with creating a non-traditional writing experience, it gives me a chance to teach them more about design and hyperlinks within presentation formats for the purpose of storytelling.

My students are writing historical interactive fiction, as I am connecting our project with work on early civilizations being done in our Social Studies class. Students are writing in second person narrative point of view, of an early human, surviving (or not) in the Ancient World, using sensory details and descriptive writing.

Yes, my students love this Interactive Fiction writing project, although most have never read the Make Your Own Ending stories (I have a class set that we read and talk about) and they are so deeply enmeshed in the writing experience right now. And yes, it is a very complicated writing endeavor. You have to plan for multiple story-lines in a single story experience, and let the reader “play the story,” as I have been saying each day.

Here are a few of their “story maps” — which I require to be done before they even touch a computer.

Interactive fiction maps

I’ll be sharing a bit over the next few days …. including a screenshot tutorial on how you might do similar stories in Google Slides. If you want a taste of what I am talking about, this is an Interactive Fiction piece that I wrote last year as a mentor text for my students (designed more as a mystery story, not historical fiction, which is what we are doing this year).

Come, play my story.

Peace (in the interactive),

  1. I like twine thanks for these examples Kevin.

    have you tried to make it or let your students make it as an improv ( no maps) as a creative writing? Also as a collaborative story?

  2. This was a great approach to the project. Simple to implement, too, making it possible for students to focus on the development of their storyline instead of tech details.

  3. Love the hack. I thought of a similar one that would involve the use of Hackpad. You can make Pads private and you might be able to add a collaborative element because you can follow the links in the pad from one story line to the next. In other words you could have two authors with separate stories hyperlinked across each others pads. Whoa, hive mind.

    antidamspam: He pulled the lever marked “DAM”. Nothing happened. Well…at least noting happened nearby. Maybe some dam in China just got shut down or maybe some stream just got dammed up. Or maybe it was just a placebo button. Or it had an effect on something in another dimension. Whatever. I sure as heck am not going to pull the lever next to it that was marked “DAMNED”. UhUh. Nope, NFW.

  4. Here ’tis: https://paper.dropbox.com/doc/ThanksGiveries-d31ZyzAeJnD6LLj7YHWbh Welcome to use any suggestions, pretotypes, or even scrapping.

    antispamjonesis: Mew valve. I had been sitting in the vet’s office for an hour, just there to get the mew valve adjusted on my favorite tomcat, Mr. Squeaker when all hell broke loose in the waiting room.

    (Note: sometimes I get an antispamery that even I can’t handle. I pass this one to you: birth fug. Yes, birth fug. Kinda admire the system that generates such interesting dyads. I suspect there is a conspiracy going on. Ah, another time, perhaps?

    • I am in, and playing, and squandering webspace with my meanderings (nothing new there),

      Birth Fug: A Bug that is born each winter day and then before it dies, shouts out: Fugetaboutit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *